benefits of Zinc
benefits of Zinc

Here's all that you need to know about the potential benefits of Zinc on your skin

This mineral’s antioxidant properties support a number of body functions and build immunity

We all know that the largest eliminatory organ in our body is the skin. And to ensure that the elimination of toxins takes place properly to avoid skin issues like irritation, pimples, acne, boils, rashes and inflammation, it is important to add skin friendly nutrients in our meal. Today I am going to talk about one such mineral — Zinc. It is one of the most important minerals required by the body and about six per cent of our total body’s zinc is located in our skin. Zinc stabilises the cell membranes, takes part in growth and repair of the tissues in our body, serves as an essential cofactor for several metalloenzymes and participates in basal cell mitosis and differentiation as well. Zinc acts as anti-inflammatory, antibiotic and helps create healthy proteins in the body.

Growing up, most of us have seen our elders suggesting the use of calamine to soothe the skin irritation. It is because topical preparations like zinc oxide, calamine or zinc pyrithione are used as Photoprotection — a biochemical process which helps our body to cope with molecular damage caused by UV rays or sunlight — soothing agents. Zinc is also used for dermatological conditions like skin infections, warts, inflammatory dermatoses, acne, pityriasis rosea, melasma among many others. Let’s look at a few other benefits of zinc for our skin:

Skin structure and overall health: Zinc plays a crucial role in maintaining skin integrity and structure along with copper and vitamin C. It also helps in cross-linking of protein structure of collagen and elastin, which is obligatory for strength and elasticity of skin.

Wound healing: Maintaining integrity of skin and mucosal membranes is one of the functions of zinc, therefore, chronic wounds or ulcers are often linked with defective zinc metabolism or deficiency of zinc. Zinc is also required for the synthesis of collagen and proper functioning of enzymes that are required by the body to repair skin which helps in wound healing.

Anti-ageing: Glutathione plays an important role in detoxifying and improving skin health. And glutathione peroxidase along with an important antioxidant metalloenzymes present in our body contain Zinc as a part of their structure. Therefore, zinc becomes an important antioxidant element in the skin which enhances the repair and slows down ageing.

Rashes/Infections: Zinc helps in healing diaper rashes and other skin irritation because of its modulating actions on macrophage and neutrophil functions, natural killer cell/phagocytic activity and various inflammatory cytokines, which helps in the improving immune system and controlling infection.

Acne: Due to its antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties, zinc can also treat acne. Zinc has an astringent effect on the skin which means it may shrink, constrict or tighten the body tissues. It works as a skin drying agent and can act as a skin anti-inflammatory as well.

We can consume zinc from foods like seafood, whole grains, legumes, avocados, different berries and cherries, pomegranates, guavas, cantaloupes, apricots, peaches and kiwi fruit. In case you need any supplement it is advisable to check with your healthcare provider but adding zinc is just going to help you with  an improved immune system.

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